Baltimore Charter Decoded

Accessible Law for All People

§ II-65 Land Bank Authority.

(a) Definitions.

(1)In general.

In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.

(2) Authority

Authoritymeans a nonprofit or quasi-governmental entity created by Baltimore City under
subsection (c) of this section.

(3) Board.

Boardmeans the Board of Directors of the Authority.


(i)“Bondmeans a bond issued by the Authority under this subtitle.

(ii)“Bondincludes a bond, a refunding bond, a note, and any other obligation.

(5) Cost.


(i)the purchase price of property;

(ii)the cost to acquire any right, title, or interest in property;

(iii) the cost of any improvements made to property;

(iv) the amount to be paid to discharge each obligation necessary or desirable to vest title
to any part of property in the Authority or other owner;

(v)the cost of any property, right, easement, franchise, and permit associated with a

(vi) the cost of labor, machinery, and equipment necessary to implement a project;

(vii) financing charges;

(viii) interest and reserves for principal and interest and for improvements;
(ix) the cost of revenue and cost estimates, engineering and legal services, plans,
specifications, studies, surveys, and other expenses necessary or incident to
determining the feasibility or practicability of a project;

(x)administrative expenses; and

(xi) other expenses as necessary or incident to:

1.financing a project;

2.acquiring and improving a project;

3.placing a project in operation, including reasonable provision for working
capital; and

4.operating and maintaining a project.

(6) Finance.

Financeincludes refinance.

(7) Project.

(i)“Projectmeans any organized plan carried out by the Authority in relation to:

1.acquiring and rehabilitating abandoned and dilapidated properties; and and leasing or selling the rehabilitated properties.


1.acquiring land or an interest in land;

2.acquiring structures, equipment, and furnishings located on a property;

3.acquiring property that is functionally related and subordinate to a project; and

4.obtaining or contracting for any services necessary for the rehabilitation of a

(8) Revenues.

(i)“Revenuesmeans the income, revenue, and other money the Authority receives from or
in connection with a project and all other income of the Authority.

(ii)“Revenuesincludes grants, rentals, rates, fees, and charges.

(9) Tax sale property.

Tax sale propertymeans property or an interest in property sold by the tax collector of
Baltimore City in accordance with Title 14, Subtitle 8, Part III of the TaxProperty Article of
the Annotated Code of Maryland.

(10) Trust agreement.

(i) “Trust agreementmeans an agreement entered into by the Authority to secure a bond.

(ii)“Trust agreementmay include a bond contract, bond resolution, or other contract with or
for the benefit of a bondholder.

(b) Construction of section.

(1) This section shall be liberally construed to accomplish its purposes.

(2)The powers granted to the Authority under this section shall be construed as supplemental
and in addition to powers granted to the Authority under any State or local law.

(3)This section does not authorize the Authority to:

(i)exercise the power of eminent domain; or

(ii)levy any tax or special assessment.

(c) Establishment of Authority.

(1)By ordinance, Baltimore City may establish a land bank authority in accordance with this

(2)An ordinance adopted under paragraph (1) of this subsection shall include proposed articles
of incorporation of the Authority that state:

(i)the name of the Authority, which shall beLand Bank Authority of Baltimore City”;

(ii)that the Authority is formed under this section;

(iii) the names, addresses, and terms of office of the initial members of the Board of
Directors of the Authority;

(iv) the address of the principal office of the Authority;

(v)the purposes for which the Authority is formed; and

(vi) the powers of the Authority subject to the limitations on the powers of the Authority
under this section.

(3)(i)The Mayor of Baltimore City, or any official designated in the ordinance establishing the
Authority, shall execute and file the articles of incorporation of the Authority for
recordation with the State Department of Assessments and Taxation.
(ii)When the State Department of Assessments and Taxation accepts the articles of
incorporation for recordation, the Authority becomes a body politic and corporate and an
instrumentality of Baltimore City.

(iii) Acceptance of the articles of incorporation for recordation by the State Department of
Assessments and Taxation is conclusive evidence of the formation of the Authority.

(4)(i)By ordinance, Baltimore City may adopt an amendment to the articles of incorporation of
the Authority.

(ii)Articles of amendment may contain any provision that lawfully could be contained in
articles of incorporation at the time of the amendment.

(iii) The articles of amendment shall be filed for recordation with the State Department of
Assessments and Taxation.

(iv) The articles of amendment are effective as of the time the State Department of
Assessments and Taxation accepts the articles for recordation.

(v)Acceptance of the articles of amendment for recordation by the State Department of
Assessments and Taxation is conclusive evidence that the articles have been lawfully and
properly adopted.

(5)(i)Subject to the provisions of this subsection and any limitations imposed by law on the
impairment of contracts, Baltimore City, in its sole discretion, by ordinance may:

1.set or change the structure, organization, procedures, programs, or activities of the
Authority; or

2.terminate the Authority.

(ii)On termination of the Authority:

1.title to all property of the Authority shall be transferred to and shall vest in
Baltimore City; and

2.all obligations of the Authority shall be transferred to and assumed by Baltimore

(d) Establishment of Board of Directors.

An ordinance that creates a Land Bank Authority shall establish a Board of Directors to govern
the Authority and shall include provisions for:

(1)appointment procedures;

(2)term lengths;

(3)removal procedures;
(4)election of a chair; and

(5)powers of the Board.

(e) Authoritys powersGeneral.

(1)Except as limited by the Authoritys articles of incorporation, the Authority has all the
powers set forth in this section.

(2)The Authority may:

(i) adopt bylaws for the conduct of business of the Authority;

(ii) sue and be sued;

(iii) maintain an office at a place the Authority designates;

(iv) borrow money;

(v)issue bonds and other obligations for any corporate purpose in accordance with this
section or an ordinance adopted under this section;

(vi) invest money of the Authority in instruments, obligations, securities, or property;

(vii) enter into contracts and execute the instruments or agreements necessary or
convenient to carry out this section or an ordinance adopted under this section to
accomplish their purposes;

(viii) solicit and accept gifts, grants, loans, or other assistance in any form from any
public or private source, subject to the provisions of this section or any ordinance
adopted under this section;

(ix) participate in any way in a program of the federal government, the State, a political
subdivision of the State, or an intergovernmental entity created under the laws of the

(x) contract for goods and services;

(xi) study, develop, and prepare reports or plans to assist in the Authoritys exercise of
powers and to monitor and evaluate the Authoritys progress;

(xii) contract with public or private entities for the provision of services necessary for the
management and operation of the Authority;

(xiii) provide acquisition, management, and sale services to Baltimore City for City-owned property;

(xiv) create, own, control, or be a member of a corporation, limited liability company,
partnership, or other person, whether operated for profit or not for profit, for the
purposes of developing property in order to maximize marketability;

(xv) exercise a power usually possessed by a private corporation in performing similar
functions unless to do so would conflict with State law; and

(xvi) do all things necessary or convenient to carry out the powers expressly granted by
this section or by an ordinance adopted under this section.

(3)The Authority may delegate to a member or officer a power granted to the Authority by this
section, including the power to execute a bond, obligation, certificate, deed, lease, mortgage
agreement, or other document or instrument.

(f) Authoritys powersAcquisition, etc., of real property.

(1)The Authority may:

(i)acquire, directly or through a person or governmental entity, by gift, devise, transfer,
exchange, foreclosure, purchase, or otherwise on terms and conditions and in a
manner the Authority considers proper, real property or rights or interests in real

(ii)own in the Authoritys name property acquired by or conveyed to the Authority by the
State, a local government, an intergovernmental agency created under the laws of this
State, or any other public or private person, including tax foreclosed property and
property without clear title;

(iii) sell, lease as lessor, transfer, and dispose of the Authoritys property or interest in

(iv) procure insurance against loss in connection with the property, assets, or activities of
the Authority; and

(v)execute deeds, mortgages, contracts, leases, purchases, or other agreements regarding
the property of the Authority.

(2)Property purchased, owned, or sold under this subsection may not be located outside of
Baltimore City.

(g) Staff and consultants.

The Authority may employ staff and retain consultants as employees or agents that the Authority
considers necessary and set their compensation.

(h) Appointment as receiver.

The court may appoint the Authority to serve as a receiver in a receivership proceeding filed by
Baltimore City.
(i) Code of ethics; policies and procedures; open government.

(1)The Authority shall:

(i)adopt a code of ethics for the Authoritys directors, officers, and employees;

(ii)establish policies and procedures requiring the disclosure of relationships that may
give rise to a conflict of interest, including requiring that any member of the Board
with a direct or indirect interest in a matter before the Authority disclose the
members interest to the Board before the Board takes any action on the matter; and

(iii) comply with the State Open Meetings Act under Title 10, Subtitle 5 {of the State
Government Article,} and {with the State Public Information Act under} Subtitle 6,
Part III of the State Government Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

(2)Except as otherwise provided in this section or the ordinance establishing an Authority, the
procedures of Baltimore City control any matter relating to the internal administration of the

(j) Powers at tax sale; immunities.

(1)The Authority may exercise the powers granted to Baltimore City under §§ 14-825 through
14-831 of the TaxProperty Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

(2)The Authority may have the same immunities as Baltimore City.

(k) Property rights.

(1)With respect to property held or owned by the Authority, the Authority may:

(i)grant or acquire a license, easement, or option;

(ii)fix, charge, and collect rents, fees, and charges for use of the property;

(iii) pay taxes or special assessments due;

(iv) take any action, provide any notice, or institute any proceeding required to clear or
quiet title in order to establish ownership by and vest title to property in the Authority;

(v) abate violations of the local and State building, fire, health, and related codes; and

(vi) hold, manage, maintain, operate, repair, lease as lessor, secure, prevent the waste or
deterioration of, demolish, and take all other actions necessary to preserve the value
of the property it holds or owns.

(2)The Authority shall be made a party to, and shall defend any action or proceeding concerning,
claims against property held by the Authority.

(l) Property inventory, classification; recording fee exemption.

(1)Property held by the Authority shall be inventoried and classified according to title status and
suitability for use.

(2)A register of deeds in Baltimore City may not charge a fee to record a document evidencing
the transfer under this section of property to the Authority by the State or Baltimore City.

(m) Tax delinquent properties.

(1)Following an unsuccessful attempt on the part of Baltimore City to collect outstanding liens
at tax sale and subject to the approval of the tax collecting unit of Baltimore City, the
Authority may accept from a person with an interest in a parcel of tax delinquent property or
tax sale property a deed or assignment conveying that persons interest in the property instead

(i)the foreclosure or sale of the property for delinquent taxes, penalties, and interest, as
defined by § 14-80l(c) of the TaxProperty Article of the Annotated Code of
Maryland; or

(ii) delinquent specific taxes levied by a local taxing jurisdiction.

(2)Except as otherwise provided by law, conveyance of property by deed instead of foreclosure
under this section may not affect or impair any other lien against the property or any existing
recorded or unrecorded interest in the property, including:

(i)future installments of special assessments;

(ii) liens recorded by the State;

(iii) easements or rights-of-way;

(iv) private deed restrictions;

(v) security interests and mortgages; or

(vi) tax liens of other taxing jurisdictions that do not consent to a release of their liens.

(3)A tax lien against property held by or under the control of the Authority may be released or
abated at any time by one or more of the following:

(i)Baltimore City with respect to a lien held by Baltimore City;

(ii)the governing body of any taxing jurisdiction other than the State, county, or
municipal corporation with respect to a lien held by the taxing jurisdiction;

(iii) a public water or sewer authority with respect to a tax lien or right to collect a tax
held by the public water or sewer authority; or

(iv) the State Comptroller with respect to a State tax lien.

(n) Money from property redemption or sale.

(1)Money received by the Authority as payment of taxes, penalties, or interest, or from the
redemption or sale of property subject to a tax lien of any taxing unit shall be returned to the
local tax collecting unit in the jurisdiction where the property is located for distribution on a
pro rata basis to the appropriate taxing units in an amount equal to delinquent taxes,
penalties, and interest owed on the property.

(2)Proceeds received by the Authority may be retained by the Authority for the purposes of this
section, unless otherwise designated by:

(i) this section;

(ii) the provisions of a deed;

(iii) any other law; or

(iv) an agreement of the Authority.

(o) Exemption from taxes or assessments.

(1)Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, the Authority is exempt from any
requirement to pay State or local taxes or assessments on the Authoritys properties,
activities, or any revenue from the properties or activities.

(2)Property that the Authority sells or leases to a private entity is subject to State and local
property taxes from the time of the sale or lease.

(3)The principal of and interest on bonds, the transfer of bonds, and any income derived from
the bonds, including profits made on their sale or transfer, are forever exempt from all State
and local taxes.

(p) Civil actions.

(1)The Authority may bring a civil action to prevent, restrain, or enjoin the waste of or unlawful
removal of any property from real property held by the Authority.

(2) (i)The Authority shall be made a party to any action or proceeding instituted for the purpose
of setting aside title to property held by the Authority or for the sale of property by the

(ii)A hearing in any such proceeding may not be held until the Authority is served in
accordance with the Maryland Rules.

(q) Public and governmental function and purpose.

(1)Property of the Authority is public property devoted to an essential public and governmental
function and purpose.

(2)Income of the Authority is considered to be for a public and governmental purpose.

(r) Local laws.

The Authority is subject to any local:

(1)zoning laws;

(2)permitting processes for construction, demolition, or repair of a property; and

(3) land use controls.

(s) Annual reports.

The Authority shall report annually to the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore City and, in
accordance with § 2-1246 of the State Government Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland,
the General Assembly on the activities of the Authority.

(t) Power to issue bonds.

(1) (i)The Authority may periodically:

1.issue bonds to pay all or part of the cost of acquiring or improving property; or refund those bonds;

3.purchase bonds with any funds available; and

4.hold, pledge, cancel, or resell bonds.

(ii)By resolution, the Authority may authorize the chair, one of the Authoritys members, or
a committee of the members to determine or provide for any matters relating to bonds
that the Authority considers appropriate, including:

1.specifying, determining, prescribing, and approving matters, documents, and
procedures that relate to the authorization, sale, security, issuance, delivery, and
payment of and for the bonds;

2.creating security for the bonds;

3.providing for the administration of bond issues; and

4.taking other actions it considers appropriate concerning the bonds.

(iii) The power granted in subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph is in addition to powers
conferred on the Authority by this section and does not limit any power of the Authority
under this section.

(iv) 1.Subject to subsubparagraph 2 of this subparagraph, the Authority may authorize the
Executive Director to take any of the actions described in subparagraph (ii) of this

2.If the Authority authorizes the Executive Director to take any of the actions described
in subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph, the Authority shall prescribe limits within
which the Executive Director may exercise discretion.

(2)The Authority may issue the bonds at one time or in one or more series from time to time.

(3)For each issue of the Authoritys bonds, the Authority shall pass a resolution that:

(i)specifies and describes the project for which the proceeds of the bond issuance are

(ii)generally describes the public purpose and the financing transaction to be

(iii) specifies the maximum principal amount of the bonds that may be issued by the
Authority; and

(iv) imposes any terms or conditions on the issuance and sale of the bonds that the
Authority considers appropriate.

(4)Subject to any provisions for their registration, bonds are negotiable instruments for all
purposes regardless of whether they are payable from a special fund.

(5) (i)The bonds may be:

1.serial bonds;

2.term bonds; or

3.both in the discretion of the Authority.

(ii)Subject to any delegation under paragraph (l)(ii) of this subsection, the resolution
authorizing bonds may provide:

1.the dates of the bonds;

2.the maturity dates of the bonds;

3.the interest rates on the bonds;

4.the time at which the bonds will be payable;

5.the denominations of the bonds;

6.whether the bonds will be in coupon or registered form;

7.any registration privileges of the bonds;

8.the manner of execution of the bonds;

9.the place at which the bonds will be payable; and

10. any terms of redemption of the bonds.

(iii) The bonds shall mature within a period not to exceed 50 years after the date of issue.

(iv) The bonds shall be payable in United States currency.

(6) (i)The Authority shall sell the bonds at competitive or negotiated sale in a manner and for a
price the Authority determines to be in the Authoritys best interests.

(ii)Bonds are exempt from §§ 8-206 and 8-208 of the State Finance and Procurement Article
of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

(7)An officers signature or facsimile on a bond remains valid even if the officer leaves office
before the bond is delivered.

(8)Pending preparation of the definitive bonds, the Authority may issue interim receipts or
certificates that will be exchanged for definitive bonds.

(9) (i)A trust agreement authorizing bonds may contain provisions that are part of the contract
with the bondholders.

(ii)The provisions may include:

1.pledging the following to secure payment of bonds, subject to any existing
agreements with bondholders:

A.the full faith and credit of the Authority;

B.revenues of a project;

C.a revenue-producing contract the Authority has made with a person or
public entity; or

D.the proceeds of the sale of bonds;

2.the rates, rentals, fees, and other charges, the amounts to be raised in each year,
and the use and disposition of the revenues;

3.the setting aside of reserves and sinking funds and their disposition;

4.limits on the right of the Authority or the Authoritys agents to restrict and
regulate the use of a project;

5.limits on the purpose to which the proceeds of sale of bonds may be applied;

6.limits on issuing additional bonds and refunding bonds and the terms under which
additional bonds may be issued and secured;

7.the procedure to amend or abrogate the terms of a contract with bondholders and
the requirements for consent;

8.limits on the amount of project revenues to be expended for operating,
administrative, or other expenses of the Authority;

9.the acts or omissions that constitute default by the Authority and the rights and
remedies of the bondholders in the event of a default;

10. the conveyance or mortgaging of a project and its site to secure the bondholders;

11. the creation and disposition of a collateral fund for the purpose of securing the

(10) The members of the Authority and a person executing the bonds may not be held liable
personally on the bonds.

(u) Trust agreements.

(1)The corporate trustee under a trust agreement may be a trust company or a bank that has the
powers of a trust company in or outside the State.

(2)An expense incurred in carrying out the trust agreement or a resolution may be treated as part
of the cost of the operation of a project.

(v) Authoritys bond determinations conclusive.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, in a proceeding involving the validity or
enforceability of a bond or the security for a bond, the determination of the Authority under this
section is conclusive and binding.

(w) Bonds as securities.

Bonds are securities:

(1)in which any of the following persons may legally and properly invest moniey, including
capital that the person owns or controls:

(i)an officer or unit of the State or a political subdivision;

(ii)a bank, trust company, savings and loan association, investment company, or
other person conducting a banking business;

(iii) an insurance company, insurance association, or other person conducting an
insurance business;

(iv) a personal representative, guardian, trustee, or other fiduciary; and

(v) any other person; and

(2)that may be deposited with and received by a unit of the State or a political subdivision of
the State for any purpose for which the deposit of bonds or obligations of the State is
authorized by law.

(x) Bonds not debt or liability of State.

(1)A bond is not:

(i)a debt or liability of the State or a political subdivision of the State; or

(ii)a pledge of the faith and credit of the State or a political subdivision of the State.

(2)Each bond shall state on the face of the bond that neither the State nor a political subdivision
of the State is obliged to pay the principal of or interest on the bond except from revenues
pledged to the payment of the bond.

(3)The issuance of bonds does not directly, indirectly, or contingently obligate the State or its
political subdivisions:

(i)to levy or pledge a tax to pay the bonds; or

(ii) to make an appropriation to pay the bonds.

(4)Nothing in this section prohibits the Authority from pledging its full faith and credit in
connection with the issuance of bonds.

(y) Authoritys powers related to projects.

(1)The Authority may:

(i)fix and collect rates, rents, fees, and charges related to a project and for the services
related to a project; and

(ii)contract with any person or governmental entity to exercise its authority under this

(2)The rates, rents, fees, and charges established by the Authority under this subsection shall be
fixed and adjusted so that the aggregate amount of the rates, rents, fees, and charges from the
project, when added to other available money, is sufficient to:

(i)pay for the expenses of the project;

(ii)pay the principal of and the interest on the bonds that the Authority issued for the
project as they become due and payable; and

(iii) create and maintain reserves required or provided for in a trust agreement.

(3)The rates, rents, fees, and charges established by the Authority under this subsection are not
subject to supervision or regulation by any unit of the State other than the Authority.

(z) Pledge of revenues.

(1) (i)Any pledge of revenues and other money under subsection (t)(9) of this section is valid
and binding from the time the pledge is made.

(ii) 1.The revenue or money that the Authority pledges and receives is subject immediately
to the lien of the pledge.

2.Neither physical delivery of the revenue or money nor any other act is required to
validate the lien.

(iii) The lien of the pledge is valid and binding against each party with a claim against the
Authority in tort, contract, or otherwise, regardless of whether the party has notice of the

(2)The trust agreement and any other agreement or lease creating a pledge under this section
need not be filed or recorded, except in the records of the Authority.

(aa) Revenues are trust funds.

(1)Proceeds from the sale of bonds and other revenues received under this section are trust funds
to be held and applied solely as provided in this section.

(2) (i)Each officer, bank, or trust company that receives trust money from the Authority under
this section shall act as trustee of the money and shall hold and apply the money for the
purposes specified under this section.

(ii)The officer, bank, or trust company holding money is subject to:

1.any regulation adopted under this section; and

2.the resolution authorizing the issuance of bonds or the trust agreement.

(bb) Refunding bonds.

(1) (i)The Authority may issue bonds to refund outstanding bonds of the Authority, including

1.any redemption premium;

2.interest accrued or to accrue to the date of redemption, purchase, or maturity of
the bonds; and

3.if considered advisable by the Authority, any part of the cost of acquiring or
improving property as part of a project.

(ii)Refunding bonds may be issued for any corporate purpose, including:

1.realizing savings in the effective costs of debt service, directly or through a debt
restructuring; or

2.alleviating a potential or actual default.

(2)A refunding bond that the Authority issues under this subsection shall be issued in the same
manner and is subject to this section to the same extent as any other bond.

(3)The Authority may issue refunding bonds in one or more series in an amount greater than the
amount of the bonds to be refunded.

(cc) Bond anticipation notes.

(1)The Authority may issue negotiable bond anticipation notes in anticipation of the sale of
bonds for any corporate purpose.

(2)Bond anticipation notes issued under this subsection shall be issued in the same manner as

(3)Bond anticipation notes issued under this subsection and the resolution authorizing them may
contain any provisions, conditions, or limitations that may be included in a trust agreement.

(4)The Authority may issue bond anticipation notes to pay any other bond anticipation notes.

(5)Bond anticipation notes shall be paid from:

(i)revenues of the Authority;

(ii)money available and not otherwise pledged; or

(iii) the proceeds of the sale of the bonds in anticipation of which the notes were issued.

(dd) Conveyance of title.

(1)The Authority shall convey title to property relating to a project and release collateral in
accordance with this subsection when the following conditions are met:

(i)1.the principal of and interest on bonds issued to finance the project, including any
refunding bonds, have been fully paid and retired; or

2.adequate provision has been made to fully pay and retire the bonds;

(ii) all other conditions of the trust agreement have been satisfied; and

(iii) the lien of the trust agreement has been released.

(2)On satisfaction of the conditions under paragraph (1) of this subsection, the Authority
promptly shall execute any deeds, conveyances, releases, and documents and take any other
action necessary to convey title to the property and release collateral free of all liens and
encumbrances created through the Authority.

(ee) Protection and enforcement of bondholders’, etc., rights,

(1)A bondholder, a holder of any coupons attached to bonds, or a trustee under a trust agreement
securing the bonds may sue to:

(i)protect and enforce rights under laws of the State or a trust agreement; and

(ii)enforce and compel the performance of duties by the Authority or its officer,
employee, or agent that this section or a trust agreement requires, including fixing and
collecting rates, rents, fees, and charges that the trust agreement requires to be fixed
and collected.

(2)The rights under this subsection are subject to any trust agreement.
(Ch. 624, Acts of 2009.)